Recently we have been asked a lot of questions about developing mobile friendly versions of our customers websites including questions about best practise. Effectively there are four ways that we have been looking at developing a mobile presence for clients.
Cross Browser Testing
As per any standard website implementation, and the cheapest way of manipulating your website for mobile is to cross browser test. Cross browser testing will allow the mobile browsers to render the website in the same way as the site looks on desktop.
Usability & Practicality Rating 7/10
A nice alternative to mobile friendly design/browsing is the use of CSS Media Queries to re-render the existing page information to a style that fits the mobile browser’s window. This practise allows designers to resize images, and alternate layouts depending on the user’s window size. The website still resides on the same domain, but recognises the device to render the site accordingly.
The media query process requires some additional design time from the start but is a very effective way to create an enhanced user experience on mobiles.
Usability & Practicality Rating 9/10
Develop on Sub-domains
An alternative to re-rendering a website on the existing domain is to create a standalone mobile version which resides on a sub-domain of the main website, for example m.yourwebsite.com. Whilst there are page speed benefits in developing a site this way (i.e. you are not carrying the weight of the main site behind you), there are also some negative aspects in terms of duplicate content which must be considered as well. You don’t want to be taking any form of search related traffic away from the main site, therefore cross domain canonical tags must be added on the mobile version of the site.
Usability & Practicality Rating 6/10
If you have got enough repeat custom then another alternative could well be to look at developing an app to run in tandem with the website. Apps are great for easy browsing and repeat custom, along with brand building. Depending on which platform you use, it is likely that products may reside within two databases, one for your ERP and one for the mCommerce.
We are currently in the process of developing a mCommerce platform. For further information on the platform please email
Usability & Practicality Rating 8/10